“Shin Splints”

Treatment is typically quite simple

 (medial tibial stress syndrome) are a common exercise related problem involving the lower leg that we see often this time of year.  Shin splints are often caused by physical activity such as running or other sport activities.  This condition actually is describing inflammation where the muscle attaches to the shin bone. 

Shin splints are often caused by a sudden increase in your exercise routine.  Changing running surfaces or running on hills can cause shin splints as well as patients who have flat feet (over-pronate) or run with worn out shoes will be more prone to this sport related injury.

Treatment is typically quite simple focusing on the following:

1) Rest

Focus on exercises that are lower impact such as swimming, biking, and elliptical machine

2) Ice

Ice is therapeutic as it will create an anti-inflammatory effect. Apply ice indirectly to the skin for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off 2-3x per day

3) Good supportive shoes

Shoes that are worn out will increase strain along the muscles creating this problem.  Shoes usually last for around 500 miles of exercise or 6 months

4) Stretching exercise

Stretches involving the Achilles tendon in the back of the ankle and the muscles in front of the leg will help with this condition.

Achilles stretches:  wall push-up or towel stretch in a seated position (hold stretches for 20 seconds)

Shin stretches:  Kneel on a floor with your legs/feet together and toes pointing backwards; slowly sit onto your calf muscles until you feel a stretch on the muscles in front of your leg (hold for 20 seconds)

-Repeat each stretch 5-10 times

5) Compression

As you begin running / high impact activity again, use compression (Ace wrap) for the involved leg.  Remember to increase your mileage slowly as you begin training again.  Too much too soon will cause your injury to reoccur.



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